Monoprice Z-Wave Garage Door Sensor?


(Lawrence Kreeger) #1

I just saw this at Monoprice on sale for $25
http://www.monoprice.com/Product?c_id=122&cp_id=12212&cs_id=1221201&p_id=11987&seq=1&format=2

Has anyone tried it before? I just ordered one so I hope I can get it to work.

Thanks!


#2

They’re calling this a “garage door sensor,” but be aware that it is only a tilt sensor.

A garage door should have 5 potential statuses: opening, open, closing, closed, and unknown.

This has only 2: just tilted and not just tilted.

I don’t think it will distinguish, for example, between open and closed. Or between opening and closing. It’s just going to alert at the point that it tilts past a certain angle from its previous position.

It may still have use for some people, but it won’t tell you if you left the garage door open, for example.


(Michael Langone) #3

It should tell you if you’ve left the garage door open as the tilt switch will literally be “open” once it’s tilted past the point of triggering. It doesn’t, or shouldn’t, act merely as a momentary with one status of “I tilted” as it goes through it’s range of movement. Obviously it won’t give you the intermediary states but you’ll know if the door is open or closed.


#4

Depends on your door. A lot of doors will tilt a tilt sensor one way as they begin to open, but tilt it closed again once they’ve opened all the way and are fully horizontal. If it works for you, great.


(Erik Thayer) #5

Im interested in knowing how the results of this product go. I would think that the tilt sensor would be all you need.

A forward positioned tilt sensor on the upper panel of the door should be in a tilted position as soon as the door begins to rise. So if state = TILTED we’d know the door was open. state = NOT TILTED, and the door would be closed.

For most doors.

You can extrapolate closing and opening from other factors, but I don’t see that these events are necessarily mission critical to automating the door. Really all I need to know is if it’s currently OPENED or CLOSED for the system to work properly. Other states are frivolous IMO.

I have 5 garage doors and even $30 sensor compared to $50 ST-Multi sensor would be welcome little discount.

I’m curious to know if anyone has tried this out. Please share your experience!


(Lawrence Kreeger) #6

I realize this sensor detects only tilt, but that should be fine for my purposes. I just want to know if I left my garage door open so my bikes don’t all get stolen again (happened twice :frowning: ). Sometimes my garage door sensor detects an obstruction just as the door reaches the closing point, causing it to reopen (after I’m already inside). My door is an older style found in non-snowy places where the entire door is one big panel that tilts to open. I think it should work fine for this.

The bigger issue is what device type should I use for it? Any suggestions? Does anyone have a custom device type for a tilt sensor I can try?


#7

The Econolink Tilt sensor is on the official “works with smart things” list, so you could start there. It’s categorized under “doors and locks,” not “motion.”


(Huy Nguyen) #8

For my garage door I use the Evolve Z-Wave LFM-20 relay to control the motor, SmartSense Multi Sensor for the tilt, and the SmartThings app to remote open and close and state. Works great.

I’m wondering if you can do the same using the monoprice relay and this tilt sensor. I may try this tilt sensor so I can repurpose my multi sensor for better use.


#9

Just installed the garage door sensor. As others have mentioned, it’s not a motion sensor - only reports open/closed but seems to report open as soon as any tilt is detected.

Detected as a generic Z-Wave sensor at first. I’m using the device type below to get it to accurately report open/closed and battery status.

[MonopriceDoorWindow.groovy][1]
[1]: https://github.com/FlorianZ/SmartDevices/blob/master/MonopriceDoorWindow.groovy


(Erik Thayer) #10

That’s great. Thanks for posting that here.


(Huy Nguyen) #11

I finally got my tilt sensor as well, and it pairs initial as a “Zwave Sensor” I then changed it to “Z-Wave Door/Window Sensor” Reports open on tilt and seems to be reporting battery with this device type. But only time will tell if it is actually reporting battery or if it will sit at 100% like all the other monoprice devices so far.

Some things I did notice though:

  1. Seems that this device uses a mechanical method of detecting the tilt, you can hear a ball or something slide back and forth so it will only detect an open garage door once it is tilted all the way for the mechanical device to trip and trigger the device as open. The SmartSense Multi uses an accelerometer so it detects any tilt. That said even though the multi can sense a tilt right away, when assigned as a garage door device it still only triggers the garage door as open on an almost 90 degree tilt. Atleast from what i’ve noticed, i’m sure you could go into the device type and edit that if you wanted it to be more sensitive…

  2. Since this is a zwave device, you cannot assign it as an “SmartSense Garage Door Sensor Button” this allowed a user to tap on the device type alone and open the garage door from the “Things” section. But if you are using the SmartThings “Doors & Locks” shortcuts and have configured the garage door than this is the same affect.

In short it does what I need it to do so I can put my SmartSense multi to better use :slight_smile:


(Lawrence Kreeger) #12

Since I started this thread, it is only right that I report back on my experience :smile:
I paired the sensor in the room with my ST hub, and then changed the device type via the IDE to “Z-Wave Door/Window Sensor”. It took some experimentation for me to figure out which orientation to mount the sensor to get it to detect tilt quickly. I found that if I mounted it horizontally, it will detect tilt with a very small amount of tilt, so even when my door is only open slightly, it will show as open. As I mentioned before, I have a door style with one big panel, so I mounted it close to eye level. If you had a door with multiple panels, you would want to mount it at the top so the first panel tilting would trigger the sensor.

So far so good, but I did notice on at least one occasion, the open or closed indication didn’t seem to make it back to the ST hub (although I saw the red LED blink on the sensor). I’m not sure if it was because I was triggering it too much during testing, or because it is several walls away from the hub, but I haven’t noticed it happening again…although I admit that I don’t open the door that often since my garage is more of a storage shed than a place to keep my car :smile: .

I might need a Z-wave repeater capable device closer to the garage. Does anyone know if the Cree Connected bulbs act as repeaters?


(Huy Nguyen) #13

Those bulbs are zigbee so even if they acted as a repeater, you would need a zwave repeater. If they are like the GE Link Bulbs which are also zigbee they won’t act as repeaters. Do you have a wall plug in the garage you could try using a Zwave plug/switch module.


#14

Cree is a zigbee bulb, and like most ZLL bulbs can only act as a repeater for other ZLL bulbs on its own mini network. (Per manufacturer. Hues are the same way.)

You’d need a plugged in zwave device.

There are a couple of zwave bulbs that can act as zwave repeaters as long as they remain powered on, but they’re not rated for outdoor use so it depends where you want to put them.

I would add if that “pairing in the room with the ST hub” means you had the sensor in a different room than the one it lives in now, it has no idea who its true neighbors are, so routing is screwed up anyway. So a zwave repair is a good idea.

Talk to support if you don’t know how to do this.

Most field techs I know do 3 repairs in a row to make sure they got all hops, but if you have a small install one may be enough.


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #15

This Device works great.


(Huy Nguyen) #16

I knew ecolink till was supported but I couldnt find it on the devices list in the IDE. Maybe I just missed it


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #17

Hmmmm… I understand the confusion, because it seems to be matched with a Device Type of “Z-Wave Door/Window Sensor”, which isn’t “conclusively” a Garage Door tilt-sensor


(Huy Nguyen) #18

That’s the device type I’m already using :wink:


(Lawrence Kreeger) #19

Hey @JDRoberts, I had no idea that pairing a ZWave device in a different location messed up the routing! I guess that advice about having a device very close to the hub is only for Zigbee?

Note that I also have a GE light switch (which I’m pretty sure is ZWave) that is almost in between the garage door and the hub, so if the garage door sensor isn’t using that due to where I paired it, maybe re-paring will help.

Is there a link to the procedure somewhere?


#20

Pairing in place is always best practice for any mesh network, unless you’re intentionally trying to fool the device (not a recommended practice). So zigbee or zwave.

At the same time, some devices, such as zwave door locks, need to be very close to the hub to pair at all. For security reasons.

So there are three alternatives.

  1. if you know exactly where every device will end up, you can pair in groups close to the hub so that each device gets the neighbors it will end up with anyway.

  2. you can put all the devices in place and bring the hub to them. Not always practical.

  3. you can bring the device close to the hub, then put it in place, then after everything is in place, “heal” the network.

For zigbee, this is easy. Turn off the hub for at least 15 minutes. Turn it back on. Within an hour or so, the network will have rebuilt its routing tables and all the neighbors will know where they are.

For zwave, turn off the hub. Turn it back on, and then run a zwave repair utility. Wait at least 15 minutes after the hub log says the repair is complete. Run the repair again. Wait another 15 minutes. Run the repair a third time. 15 minutes after that one is done, the network should be fully healed.

So pretty much the only way you can get path problems from bad neighbor info is if you don’t pair in place and don’t heal the network afterwards.

One if the strengths of mesh networks is that the human doesn’t have to keep track of all the routings. :blush: